Competition vs external competitiveness: striking the right balance

Past event

Competition VS External Competitiveness


Heads of state recently reiterated the importance of sustaining effort in refocusing and reinvigorating the European Union’s industrial policy in order to better contend with international stakeholders. In its conclusion from the 21-22 March Summit, the Council called on the European Commission to draft strategies to strengthen and deepen the single market, industrial policy and digital policy.

In light of this, Friends of Europe is offering its members a series of exclusive, off the record, roundtable debates with key policymakers, hence providing an opportunity to directly share their insights and expertise. The product of these roundtable exchanges will be a series of recommendations which will be shared with the new EU mandate in the aim to better shape the EU’s future industrial strategy in accordance with the needs of the different stakeholders.

Our ‘What the Chiefs Say’ discussions are an opportunity to engage in an exclusive, closed door discussion with a selected group of senior representatives from industry, civil society and diplomacy. These 60-minute discussions include a one-on-one exchange with the moderator, followed by an off-the-record question and answer session with our members.




Registration of participants and welcome coffee
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Making sure that the European economy stays competitive is most pressing for securing economic growth, creating jobs and providing better opportunities for European citizens. Faced with growing competition from Chinese and Indian state-subsidised exports and the substantial presence of American multinational firms, European industries are calling on competition authorities to enable the creation of European industrial champions. Nevertheless, as recently underlined by the European Council, these authorities are tasked with maintaining fair competition between European businesses inside the Single Market.

The blocked merger between Alstom and Siemens to protect competition in the European railway industry is one of the most recent examples. However, the approval of the Amcor-Bemis merger only a few days later, proves that there is a fine-line between enabling a free market and encouraging competition. These developments have exposed a growing need to re-evaluate the EU’s support of the industrial sector, and the necessity to find a correct balance between internal competition and external competitiveness.

  • How can European policy and legislation best strike a balance between prioritising EU competition and championing business?
  • Is business environment impacted by these highly publicised cases? What repercussion do these measures have on company stock?
  • How do the actions undertaken by European authorities compare to those of Chinese, Indian and American counterparts?


Kris Dekeyser

Director for Policy and Strategy at the European Commission Directorate General for Competition


Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe

End of debate


Kris Dekeyser
Kris Dekeyser

Director for Policy and Strategy at the European Commission Directorate General for Competition

Show more information on Kris Dekeyser

In charge of managing the EU’s policy on mergers and acquisions, Dekeyser holds a key responsibility in maintaining a competition within the EU market. Dekeyser has extensive experience in European competition policy, having held numerous management positions in DG COMP, including head of unit overseeing antitrust and merger policy and case support, Cartel Settlement Officer, and Head of the Unit in charge of the European Competition Network and the Private Enforcement initiative.

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